Earlier this month the Obama administration floated a trial balloon about changing the way vehicle information stickers on new cars would be structured. The administration floated the idea of letter grades instead of the more full information that vehicle stickers now contain. The most fuel-efficient would get and “A” rating with less green cars having descending grades.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the letter grades would be used to rate compliance with reen policies. Electric vehicles would be the only ones to get the “A” rating with gas-powered cars getting lesser grades.
On the website of Edmunds.com, a consumer advocate outlet, the response to the letter grading idea was swift and negative. One point made on the site is particularly poignant. An Edmunds respondent said, “Having a giant letter grade will influence buyers too much. Auto companies will start making incredibly fuel efficient cars to get an A grade, which is good, but the over-all quality of the car itself could be lowered.” The rest of the comments were equally negative.
In its story the Journal had a more sensible idea for letter grades. Instead of grading all cars against each other, better to grade cars within the same class. Grading SUVs against other SUVs and electric cars against other electric cars would give the consumer a more realistic idea of where any particular car fits on the efficiency scale. After all, who isn’t smart enough to understand that an electric car is more fuel-efficient than a truck or full sized SUV? Who needs nanny government to tell us that?
But this new letter grade idea is yet another example of the Obama administration’s penchant to pick which industries he wants to succeed and which he wants to fail, a role that no president has a right to involve himself in.
Worse it treats the consumer like a child. The current stickers offer all sorts of information that reflects an auto’s mpg rating both for city and highway driving, as well as a dollar amount of the estimated annual cost of fuel, among other information. But the new stickers would lack that more detailed info. Apparently Obama feels American car buyers aren’t intelligent enough to understand the current stickers.
This whole idea is little else but more Obama nanny state, big government intervention in the market and one cannot help but wonder if it’s all meant to benefit GM, now known across the country as “Government Motors”?